My wife and I did a blue-green sapphire and love it. We shopped through The Natural Sapphire Company for unique sapphires and chose some to check out. They shipped them to us to check out before buying (3 at a time) and we chose which one we liked after a couple of shipments. After picking the stone, we had a custom ring setting made at Ethan Lord Jewelers in Chicago. We just picked some photos of rings we liked, sent the stone, and they did CAD drawings. Most -- if not all of it -- can be done remotely.
I will say that EdipisReks is correct in that diamonds will wear better over time, but we chose to accept a softer stone because we wanted something different. It will take more maintenance and may need to be replaced, but we accept that.
Colored diamonds are incredibly expensive. Often many times more than clear diamonds.
If wear is a concern, Jade is incredibly tough. Diamond may be the hardest gem, but jade is the toughest. In some parts of the world they used to make anvils and stone tools out of jade (or more correctly, Nephrite, the dark, non-gem quality form of jade).
Eric already mentioned sapphires and garnet, both of which come in many colors, are hard, and can be inexpensive (although some rare types of sapphires can be right up there with diamond in terms of cost).
I'd suggest talking to her, or her good friends, to get an idea of what she might want.
I know numerous people who have opted for non-diamonds. But it's been at least partially her choice.
Moissanite looks pretty nice, but it's not as nice as a good diamond.
(From someone who bought a diamond ring this summer, and has been engaged for six weeks . . .)
Diamonds hold their value. Just a thought.
they actually don't, unless it's boutique or antique. In my opinion, worrying about resale value is just jinxing the marriage.
Originally Posted by ecchef
I think sapphires and emeralds are pretty sweet. Also some of the tourmalines and opals are purty too.
Maybe just a chunk of a j-nat crammed into a simple setting?
What about these: Amethyst, Grossular (Garnet), Sapphire or Ruby?
My wife's ring's main stone is a ruby, flanked with some really tiny diamonds as highlights. Its quite elegant and understated, I really like rubies as a vey romantic stone.